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Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Photography Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Photography John Goldingham (1767 - 1844)
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Government House (left) and the Banqueting Hall (right) at Triplicane, Madras Aquatint by H. Merke perhaps after John Goldingham. London, 1807. double mounted, glazed and framed.
John Goldingham (1767–1844 or 49)
In 1800, the Company’s Surveyor and Astronomer, John Goldingham, was appointed Civil Engineer at Fort St George during the governorship of the second Lord Clive. Like Marquess Wellesley in Calcutta, clive felt that some of the official buildings needed to be replaced.
Goldingham was commissioned to renovate the Fort’s Government House, to enlarge the Garden House overlooking the Cooum River and to landscape its park with sunken gardens and fountains. Goldingham also designed a Banqueting Hall (modeled on the classical temple), with a broad flight of steps and columns
supporting a pediment decorated with trophies at each end.
The Madras Government Gazette reported the opening festivities at the Banqueting Hall in October 1802.
‘In the evening his Lordship gave a grand ball to which all the ladies and gentlemen of the settlement were invited. On this occasion the superb building recently erected at the Government Gardens was opened, and produced the general impression of surprise excited by the most magnificent and beautiful specimen of architecture which the science and taste of Europe have ever exhibited in India.’ The aquatint published by Edward Orme in 1807, showing the Government House and the Banqueting Hall, may have been engraved from a drawing by Goldingham.
Ref: Scenic Spledours by Pheroza Godrej & Pauline Rohatgi.